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Small Business Owners are pulled in so many directions.  Decisions that are related to employees can often be overwhelming.


We frequently get calls to our HR Helpline that center around employee situations that could become problems down the road.  Our experienced professionals typically discuss the four P’s with the client.  



1st – First, what is your policy?  Do you have a policy? Do you have a written document that the employee has seen and signed that outlines the policy?



2nd – Procedures are the second “P”.  What about a procedure?  Have you followed your procedure?  If you are not consistent with all employees, this could create a liability. 


3rd – The third “P” is very important.  Especially when you lack policies and procedures.  What has your practice been?  What happened in similar situations with other employees? Once again, consistency is Key.  Great consideration should be given to past practices. 


4th – The fourth “P” is precedent.  Two parts are important on this one.  Past precedent is the first.  Have you set a precedent by a past practice?  Does that precedent apply to this situation?  Secondly, will you be setting a precedent moving forward by this decision?  What is the potential cost in the future of this precedent? 

Human Resources related decisions are never easy.  Thinking through the 4 P’s will help you make the best decisions and reduce your liability.